We doing this?

Focus, important,efficiency,productive,

More insight here: 99U.

Productivity vs. The Amount of Work

ilovecharts, charts, level of confidence, efficiency

I think he’s on to something here…

Source: querosabermais via ilovecharts

Still, in the Hunt for the Holy Grail…

PrintI’m productive. Efficient. I’ve been told by many – obsessively productive and efficient.  I chew up tasks and spit them out.  Yet, one can always be more productive, right?  I’ve been in a life long search for the Holy Grail of a Zero Email Box solution at the end of each day.  A search for the best To-Do program.  A hunt for a better way to manage projects. A race to squeeze more into each day.  I believe being more productive is possible. Within reach.  Just within the ends of my fingertips.

So, when I came across Robin Sharma’s post titled “Become The Most Productive Person You Know”, I was like Zeke on his bone – on it.   When Sharma opened his post by stating: “I want to help you create explosive productivity so you get big things done (and make your life matter)…”, I was giddy.  I was delirious with anticipation. Imagine that – I WILL ACHIEVE “EXPLOSIVE” PRODUCTIVITY.

I’ve graded myself from “A” to “F” on each of his 21 Productivity tips and self-categorized my competency into three buckets: “Utter Failure”, “Journeyman” and “Master.”

My initial reaction to Robin Sharma’s tips was that I could be more productive if I stopped reading these “How-to” posts. Then after I settled in…I saw that there was some value in the exercise.  And he did manage to highlight some nagging areas of personal concern (more consistent exercise, email addiction, extreme multitasking, need to take breaks to refuel.)

My Overall Score:

  • Master: 9 out of 21 (43%)
  • Journeyman: 3 out of 21 (14%)
  • Utter Failure: 9 out of 21 (43%) – Wow! Shocking.  So, my search for the Holy Grail will continue.
    You’ll find each tip below (or an excerpt) along with my grade/reaction.

[Read more…]

Like Sisyphus. Just not as good.

Me: Monday. (Big Plans. Big Things. Big Hopes. Get started.)
Me: Tuesday. (Meetings. Calls. Emails. Set aside big things.)
Me: Wednesday. (More meetings. More Calls. More Emails. Full of…little things.)
Me: Thursday. (Where you taking me today pal? Going to play big? Or little?)
Me: Friday. (Start planning for Big today.)

[Read more…]

I’m not going to do it. It’s not a priority.

timeChange your language. Instead of saying "I don’t have time" try saying "it’s not a priority," and see how that feels. Often, that’s a perfectly adequate explanation. I have time to iron my sheets, I just don’t want to. But other things are harder. Try it: "I’m not going to edit your résumé, sweetie, because it’s not a priority." "I don’t go to the doctor because my health is not a priority." If these phrases don’t sit well, that’s the point. Changing our language reminds us that time is a choice. If we don’t like how we’re spending an hour, we can choose differently.

~ Laura Vanderkam







Quote Source: WSJ: Are You As Busy As You Think? via swiss-miss.  Image Source: Marcdesa

Related Posts:

A To-Do List (like none you have likely ever seen)…

A short 2-minute video on a To-Do List that doesn’t create anxiety or stress (can there be such a thing?)…

To Do List from TENDRIL on Vimeo.

Related Posts:

Can’t. Take it. Any. More.

Sisyphus“If you feel sucked into a bottomless guilt vortex every time you look at your email inbox, this post is not for you. If you struggle to keep up with a deluge of 50, 100, 400 emails every day, go away. If you’ve clicked on this looking for tips in curtailing this incursion of correspondence, leave now. This post isn’t for you. It’s for the other guy. The one who responds immediately to every message. The one who sleeps with his smartphone.  The one who checks email on vacation.  You know who you are. And while this may be hard for you to hear, it needs to be said: you’re ruining everything for the rest of us.  Every time you check your email while on vacation you make it just a little bit harder for me not to. Every time you fire off an email at 11pm, you make a capillary explode in one of my eyeballs. Every time you send me an email asking, "Did you get my email?" — especially if you sent said email within the last 24 hours — I drown a kitten in a bag.  Okay, that’s not true. No animals were harmed in the writing of this post. Except for this particular human animal, who has gotten to a point with her email where she just. Can’t. Take it. Any. More.  Sisyphus had a better chance of keeping that boulder on top of that hill than I do of keeping on top of my email…I will never, never, never have more time for email, next week or any other week, no matter how much false hope I harbor. Also, I think there are better ways for me to spend 3 hours out of a (purportedly) 40-hour work week.”

Read more of this great post @ HBR Blog Network: The Responsiveness Trap

Related Posts:

I am a hoarder.

Yep. That’s me.  A digital hoarder.  Good article in this week’s Wall Street Journal called Drowning In Email, Photos, Files?  Hoarding Goes Digital.  Here’s 2 excerpts on what defines a hoarder and what to do about it:

“There are no official criteria for ‘digital hoarding’ but there are some tell-tale signs:

  • You’ve exceeded your 7 gigabytes of free space in Gmail and have to buy more.
  • Deleting anything makes you anxious—even things you can’t remember why you saved.
  • You spend more time searching for a file than it would take to download it again.
  • You have dozens of icons on your desktop and don’t know what they’re for.
  • You can’t remember all your email or social-media accounts or how to access them.
  • You have flash drives scattered in drawers, pockets and purses and no idea what’s on them.
  • Of your thousands of digital photos, the vast majority are duds.
  • You have entire seasons of bad TV shows you have no intention of watching.

[Read more…]

Emails and Files: Searching. Searching. Searching. Never Finding. Frustrated?

I’m a pack rat with emails and files.  Current count: 287,658 going back more than 10 years.  (That’s a topic for another day.)  If you use Microsoft Outlook as your core email software program and if you spend any amount of time searching for documents, files or emails, a software solution is a must-have addition to your efficiency arsenal.   I have tried manual solutions (see Cro-Magnon Man Method below) and a significant number of software solutions.  I’ve used X1 for over 5 years now.  I use it multiple times daily and it is an indispensable productivity and efficiency tool for me.

  1. DK’s Cro-Magnon Man Method:  I created a number of specific folders in outlook.  Then I would drag and drop. Sounds good but Folders bulge with emails.  Then need to be archived.  WAY too slow.  Archaic.  For-getta-about-it.
  2. Google Desktop:  Used older version.  Free is good.  Didn’t search Outlook emails. Too messy.  Believe they may have discontinued Desktop.  Source: Google Desktop
  3. Lookeen.  Price at ~ $30 is reasonable.  It works.  But couldn’t handle the vast emails that I had in various PSTs.  Good basic solution.  Source: Lookeen
  4. Outlook’s Built-in Email Search:  Free is good.  Integrated into Outlook.  Doesn’t index old archived files in PSTs.  Slows down Outlook.  Source: Microsoft Outlook
  5. Xobni:  The new kid on the block.  Social network connections blocked by corporate firewalls.  Slows down outlook.  Interesting eye candy information – much of it not useful to me.  Source: Xobni.com
  6.  X1: Winner by a landslide. $49.95. Lightning fast. Fully integrated with Outlook. Indexes every word in every email and every file – finds files and emails as fast as you can type.  Indexes all archived files.  Handles email and file tonnage with ease.  Can search by sender, receiver, file type, keyword.  You can open, delete, print,email and drag and drop files directly from X1.  Terrific, clean interface.  Source: x1.com

One word of warning.  If you can’t remember keywords or file names or something unique to tie you to the search, no software will help you with memory recall.  And if you are searching using a common word or name, you can get hundreds of search results that you’ll have to wade through.  (For example, if I was searching for an email with the word “soup” in it, X1 returns 350 emails with the word “soup” in it. I used Soup as the name of a newsletter a few years back.  You would need to either scan all of the emails or simply add another search parameter to chop it down.  If I added a sender (me) and a recipient (Jack Smith), this would reduce the email count to < 5).

If you have a better email/file search system or program, I would be keenly interested in hearing about it.

Image Sources: X1 & Tangle-Tree-Interiors

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